in the middle of


Also found in: Legal.

in the middle of something/doing something

busy doing something We were in the middle of supper when we heard the news. When she called, I was in the middle of giving the baby a bath.
See also: middle, of

in the middle of

1. Also, in the midst of. During, while engaged in, as in He stopped him in the middle of his speech, or I'm in the midst of calculating my income tax. The first expression dates from about 1600, the second from about 1500. Also see in the midst.
2. in the middle of nowhere. In a very remote location, as in We found a great little hotel, out in the middle of nowhere. [Early 1900s]
See also: middle, of
References in classic literature ?
At last he dreamt one night that he found a beautiful purple flower, and that in the middle of it lay a costly pearl; and he dreamt that he plucked the flower, and went with it in his hand into the castle, and that everything he touched with it was disenchanted, and that there he found his Jorinda again.
In the middle of the night, and under all the rest of our distresses, one of the men that had been down to see cried out we had sprung a leak; another said there was four feet water in the hold.
But in the middle of the day, being full of cracks, and the air also being less elastic, it had completely lost its resonance, and probably fishes and muskrats could not then have been stunned by a blow on it.
Senor governor of my soul, this wicked man caught me in the middle of the fields here and used my body as if it was an ill-washed rag, and, woe is me
And somewhere in the middle of Oz is the Emerald City.
And as he spoke the word he was again in his home; the long white curtains hung down from the windows, and in the middle of the floor stood the black coffin; in it he lay in the sleep of death.
The family doctor respectfully ceased in the middle of his observations.
In the middle of the spear you must have two strong chains ten fathoms in length.
In the middle of a cyclone the air is generally still, but the great pressure of the wind on every side of the house raised it up higher and higher, until it was at the very top of the cyclone; and there it remained and was carried miles and miles away as easily as you could carry a feather.
Philip gathered that Lawson's chief grievance was that the rupture had come in the middle of a portrait he was painting.
After walking for a few minutes in a direction which was quite new to me, we stopped in a gloomy little square, with a plot of neglected garden-ground in the middle of it.
The latter seemed only half decided to disturb himself thus in the middle of supper, and it was clear he was trying to invent some pretext, whether good or bad, for delay, at any rate till after dessert.
cried Robin, stopping of a sudden in the middle of the road, and looking at Little John in wonder.
In the middle of the night something--some malign power bent upon the wrecking of my peace forever--caused me to open my eyes and sit up, wide awake and listening intently for I knew not what.
He walked as if blind, following instinctively the shore of the diminutive harbour along the quay, through a pretty, dull garden, where dull people sat on chairs under the trees, till, his fury abandoning him, he discovered himself in the middle of a long, broad bridge.